Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Our common lives

I bet, like most of you, I'm listening to the debate between George Galloway and Christopher Hitchens, moderated by Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman. It hasn't started yet. It's running late. I called Rebecca and she said she'd be listening to and said, "Just write when Hitchens speaks because you won't be missing anything important." After I finished laughing, I thought it was a good idea. So once it starts, I'll be stopping and starting, which Rebecca says she's going to be doing as well. Mike and I are doing the same items and he's also got his interview with Cedric tonight so be sure to visit Mikey Likes It!

Baghdad Suicide Car Bombing Kills 114 (Democracy Now!)
In Iraq, a suicide car bombing has killed at least 114 Shiite day laborers in Baghdad. 220 people were injured. It is believed to be the second deadliest bombing of the war. The explosion went off at 7 a.m. as the day laborers gathered in search of work. Meanwhile another 17 Iraqis were killed after they were dragged from their homes in the middle of the night and shot dead. The executions occurred in the town of Taji.

Suicide car bombs approaching the Green Zone but Operation Happy Talk will go on. I don't think the press realizes how upset Americans are with them. I think C.I. addressed that issue beautifully in "Editorial Reading press releases, live from the Green Zone."

U.S. Expands Attacks on Sunni Strongholds (Democracy Now!)
In Northern Iraq, U.S. forces have widened their attacks on Sunni strongholds in the region. Over the weekend, U.S. and Iraqi forces carried out a major assault on the city of Tal Afar. On Tuesday the U.S. attacked the city of Haditha.

I read that (and there was no time to listen today so I read the transcripts, Kim Gandy is really amazing and you should check out the interview that Amy Goodman did with her) and just shook my head in sadness. This isn't how I see my country. These aren't actions that I'm proud of. Reality probably is that these "missions" will become more common place. Iraq isn't the cake walk we were told and we can't fix it. That's what the "fine tuners" don't grasp. We need to bring our troops home.

Sen. Robert Byrd Calls for Withdrawal From Iraq (Democracy Now!)
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, the Senate's most senior member, Robert Byrd called for the Bush administration to withdraw from Iraq and bring the troops home. Byrd said "We cannot continue to commit billions in Iraq when our own people are so much in need, not only now, in New Orleans, but all across America for everything from education to health care to homeland security to securing our own borders."

Senator Byrd did a brave thing. Ted Kennedy made a similar call and the press ignored it and the other Seantors acted as though he'd never made a statement. Hopefully, others will join in now. Your representatives need to know how you feel. They need to hear from you and they need to know that they can play the DC games but that in their home states, the game's not funny. If we don't press them with phone calls, e-mails, letters and visits, they won't budge. You're going to have to let your representatives know where you stand. Don't count on the fact that someone else will do that for you. Don't tell yourself, "Oh others feel like me and I'll let them speak." Your representative needs to know where you stand.

Well the debate's over. It wasn't even close. Hitchens tried to Bully Boy it by tossing around references and tie-ins to 9/11. He couldn't frame an argument because he was too busy sloganeering. (Some people think he can't frame an argument period. Janeane Garofalo has wondered if he's damaged himself with all his drinking.)

It reminded me of a high school event, actually. Of two people running for class president. And one thinks that everyone loves him so he can just offer slogans. The other was prepared to debate. George Galloway is the one who was prepared to debate. I think he did a great job.
But at the end, when he was winding down the debate, when he called for it to end, I understood.
His argument, other than that we need to leave Iraq, was an attempt to appeal to Christopher Hitchens' better nature. But Hitchens didn't have a better nature tonight.

So Galloway would make statements and arguments and Hitchens would try to come back with jokes and not address the issue. I don't like Hitchens but I honestly felt sorry for him because he made such an idiot out of himself.

I doubt he'll admit that. I see that in a lot of patients. They'll rewrite it in their heads and, over time, convince themselves that they came out on top. I wouldn't be surprised if Hitchens did that.

I really am sad. I'll go read C.I.'s "NYT: Todd S. Purdum "cupping" the story" and hopefully get charged up before I have to participate in the gina & krista round-robin roundtable.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.
Jane Addams rel="tag">The Common Ills